By Jerry Fekete Banner Correspondent
April 10, 2014
MAN — The Man High School baseball team improved to 4-1 on the season with a 7-4 win on Monday night at Man’s Dr. Juan Nordelo Field.
Man head coach Larry Vance said he is well pleased with the start of the season.
“Last year, we were 7-20 and didn’t get a win until the third week of the season,” Vance said. “And now, we are 4-1. It’s great. But we still have a long way to go. I’m pleased with the pitching. The defense has played well at times and then we have some mistakes but that’s going to happen early in the season. Our hitting still has to come. We are not where we want to be but we have had some timely hitting in clutch situations. I’ll take 4-1 every year. We beat two regional teams in the last two games in road wins at Valley and now Sherman. We are 2-0 in regional play and that is a big plus for us.”
Junior Mikle Scott Rowe picked up the win on the mound, going four innings and giving up two runs on four hits with four walks and four strikeouts.
Sophomore right-hander John Thomas Keffer then came into the game for two innings, giving up just one hit and one run with one walk and two strikeouts.
Freshman righty Cameron Simpson then came on in the seventh and closed the door on the Tide as he fanned two and allowed a hit.
Leading the Man hitting attack was junior standout Braden Griffin who was 3-for-4 with two doubles, a single and two RBI. Baley Beckwith had his best high school hitting performance to date as he went 2-for-3 with a double, a triple and three runs batted in.
Senior Noah Maynard was 1-for-3 with a double and an RBI. Freshman Austin Gent was 1-for-3 with an RBI. Brian Trent was 1-for-1 with a pinch-hit single.
Sherman’s John Hunter suffered the loss, going five innings and giving up six hits and six runs with seven walks and seven strikeouts. The Tide were led in hitting by Aaron Lowe who went 2-for-3. Blake Brewer was 1-for-2 with a double and an RBI. Pitcher John Hunter was 1-for-2 with two RBI in a losing cause.
With the Billies down 2-1 in the bottom of the second inning Beckwith delivered what turned out to be the game winning hit — a two-run double to give MHS the lead for good at 3-2. Griffin rapped out an RBI double in the Billies’ third inning off Hunter to give Man a 4-2 advantage. Beckwith and Griffin teamed up in the home half of the fourth frame with RBIs to push the Hillbillies’ lead to 6-2.
Sherman’s John Hunter got a sac fly RBI off Keffer in the top of the sixth inning to cut the Man deficit to 6-3 .
The Billies got that run back in the bottom of the sixth as Brian Trent got a two-out single and later scored on an RBI single off the bat of Griffin to give MHS a 7-3 lead.
Sherman was able to score one run in the top of the seventh as Aaron Lowe led off with a single off Simpson and later scored on an error to make it 7-4. Simpson then fanned Bailey Kirk and Cody Hartsell to preserve the Man victory.
Man was scheduled to host Westside on Wednesday night.